You Say Securities Law, I Say ERISA

Stop me if I am beating a dead horse, but this press release/short story on a class action law firm’s investigation into a stock drop involving Hartford’s stock reads exactly like one that, a few years ago, would have been issued prior to pursuing a securities class action; now its written in advance of pursuing an ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claim, with the class consisting of the company’s 401(k) participants. There is no better or more succinct illustration of the movement away from using the securities laws to pursue these types of claims and towards instead using ERISA to pursue these types of claims than this brief story. The facts at issue haven’t changed; they just replaced the words “securities act” with the word “ERISA.”

More grist for the mill for those who believe that the merging of the two areas by plaintiffs’ firms needs to be met by integrating the obligations under both areas of law so that fiduciaries are not operating under two separate and sometimes contradictory legal regimes.